Your guide to the best family shows in London this Christmas

London has so much to offer in terms of attractions and shows. This useful guide to the best family shows in London this Christmas from Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of Family Tickets makes it easy to pick family entertainment in town.  

Christmas is undoubtedly the perfect time for fun family festivities, and what better way to celebrate the season than by enjoying one of the many enchanting stage shows running across the country.

Whether your family prefers a new rendition of one of their favourite stories, or whole new experience, there are many wonderful choices for fans of pantos, musicals and blockbusters alike.

There are more great shows to choose from in London than presents in Santa’s grotto, so I’ve picked out 10 of the best festive shows that parents have given rave reviews.

So, without further ado…

 

The perfect pantos

I know that for many families, a pantomime is a quintessential Christmas experience. If your family are panto lovers, then you can’t go wrong with Cinderella (Ages 6+). Be sure to consult your Fairy Godmother, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a show more charming than this delightful performance.

So, hop into a golden carriage, and prepare to relive Cinderella’s spellbinding journey as an engaging panto experience.

If you fancy something a bit different, Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Ages 5+)  is a brilliant crossover between a panto and a circus, flipping a well-known story on its head. No longer is this a tale centred around porridge, chairs and beds…

In a refreshingly new journey, Goldilocks and her mother battle to save defend their circus from a dastardly rival. The odds are stacked against them, but luckily, they’re able to enlist the help of three bears.

You’ll enjoy all the panto laughs and thrills you could hope for, as well as some remarkable circus stunts and magical special effects. You also might be familiar with some of the all-star cast, such as Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary and Matt Baker from The One Show.

So, join them all for this unmissable performance at the London Palladium.

 

For younger showgoers

If you want to take your young children to enjoy a Christmastime stage show, there are plenty of choices. If your family has ever read the wonderful kids’ book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, you really must see this lovely tale rejuvenated on stage as Dear Santa (18 months+).

Santa is on a special mission to deliver the perfect present and he and his charismatic elf assistant are awaited by quite an adventure. Be prepared though, Old Saint Nick may need some help from the audience, for which he’ll be eternally grateful.

Oh, and if your kids were hoping to meet Santa this year, waiting around after the show will certainly be worth your while!

You wouldn’t usually associate Peppa Pig with Christmas, but this beloved children’s character is embarking on an adventure throughout the festive period. In Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever (All Ages), kids can see their favourite animated animal – and her many quirky friends – brought to life on stage.

So join Peppa, Madam Gazelle, Miss Rabbit, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe and many more as they hit the road for a rather exciting expedition. At an hour and 15 minutes, an interval, and the option of free booster seats, this an ideal show for toddlers.

 

The Christmas classics

It’s hard not to love heart-warming Christmas classic, and there’s a plethora to choose from this season.

Is Christmas really Christmas without The Snowman (Ages 3+)? My family watches this classic animation every year without fail – and I know we’re not the only ones! The stage show has become a much loved festive tradition at the Peacock Theatre, and returns for a record-breaking 16th year. This Christmas treat for all the family is a wonderful mix of storytelling, spectacle and magic.

Another timeless Christmas story is Charles Dickens’ more than 175-year-old tale, A Christmas Carol (Ages 8+), which for many, is as powerful as it ever was. What’s more, you might already be familiar with the mastermind behind the stage adaption, Jack Thorne, who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with JK Rowling.

To see this iconic festive tale transformed on stage, head down to The Old Vic Theatre.

For a dedicated festive stage performance, 100 dancers and musicians from the English National Ballet will bring The Nutcracker (Ages 5+) to life at London’s Coliseum.

Complete with a live rendition of Tchaikovsky’s iconic orchestral score, the marvellous music, dancing and storytelling makes this a performance in every sense of the word. As this has been a sold-out show for the last three years running, book while you can to avoid disappointment.

 

West End shows

You might think of London’s West End as a hive of shows for seasoned theatre lovers, but at Christmas, it’s filled with festive performances for all ages.

One such winter delight will see Mary Poppins (Ages 7+) float down to the Prince Edward Theatre in order to retell a remarkable story. Her songs may be infectious, but she also has the medicine, and sugar to help it go down.

It’s a story you’re probably rather familiar with, but on stage, it’s a truly Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious experience.

 

The story of the infamous Henry VIII and his six wives may not seem suited for kids, but Six The Musical (Ages 10+) remixes this historical tale in an unprecedented way.

Told in the form of a pop concert, Henry’s wives battle it out to be the frontwoman. The winner will be she who has had the worst experiences as one of Henry’s spouses. This a unique telling of a story that will see any aspiring pop star singing along.

Some shows are the perfect way to revisit your childhood, particularly when you never want to grow up. There’s no better show for this than Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Ages 8+), which retells J.M Barrie’s childhood classic revamped into a hilarious new form.

With all the original elements that made it such a compelling story in the first place, and plenty of hilarious surprises to catch everyone off guard, head down to London’s Alexandra Palace and catch the next flight to Neverland.

These are just a few of the fun-filled festive delights running this Christmas. Fantastic shows are happening right across the country, so whatever your family fancies, I’m sure they’ll find a performance they’ll love. Enjoy!

Related features:

Mary Poppins Tour of London

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